Wednesday 20 February 2019

Klopp's fixture blast

Liverpool boss blasts fixtures schedulers over Everton call and labels Euro clash with City as 'great for United fans'

SEEING RED: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reacted angrily to a decision to move the derby clash with Everton forward by a day
SEEING RED: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reacted angrily to a decision to move the derby clash with Everton forward by a day

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has launched an angry attack on fixture schedulers after the Merseyside derby sandwiched between the two legs of their Champions League tie against Manchester City was brought forward a day.

A new Saturday lunchtime kick-off against Everton next month means his side will have just 63 hours between the first leg against City finishing and the 231st derby starting at Goodison Park in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

City, meanwhile, face Manchester United at 5.30pm the same day and Klopp is not happy.

"There will be a point when I am looking forward to that game but at the moment I am already angry because I heard a second ago the Premier League will put our game against Everton at 12.30 on the Saturday," said the German.

"I know countries where they cancel whole match days, so teams can be in the best shape.

"We play Wednesday night against Manchester City and then play Everton at 12.30 three days later.

"That means the players get up on Thursday and have lunch or breakfast and then we train and next day we are second-day recovery and then you start at 12.30 (on Saturday).

"Can you imagine how big the difference is in these five hours? It means the world in preparation and recovery.

"We take it like it is but if I cannot be angry about something like that any more and have to be politically correct and say nothing then I am dead because that doesn't work.

"Obviously whoever made the schedule didn't think we'd go to the quarter-finals because (the derby) was a Sunday game. Oops, it is only Liverpool."

When Klopp was asked whether he wanted the Everton match moved he almost lost his temper and had to stop himself saying the f-word.

"No, I'd like it at nine o'clock in the morning. What the f...?" he said sarcastically. At three o'clock normal game. Put it on at a normal time and not at breakfast."

The scheduling issue overshadowed the quarter-final draw yesterday which threw up an intriguing all-English clash with Pep Guardiola's all-conquering side pitted against the only Premier League team to beat them so far this season.

"I think it is an absolute dream draw - for all Manchester United fans. I really don't mind," said Klopp ahead of this evening's visit of Watford.

"I knew it would be difficult and that is difficult. The good news is for Manchester City it will be difficult as well."

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